A knocked out tooth, scientifically referred to as an avulsed tooth, occurs as the result of a blow to face or an accident involving the maxillofacial region. This situation commonly happens with children who play outdoors, or sportsmen involved in contact sports such as soccer, baseball, and rugby. The good news is that the tooth can be replaced back into its socket, provided the necessary precautions for the tooth’s preservation are undertaken.
What To Do If You Are bleeding?
In case of bleeding, place a clean cloth or towel at the site of bleeding, and apply pressure by clenching your teeth. This will stop the bleeding only temporarily, and medical or dental assistance must be immediately sought.
How to Place the Tooth Back To Its Socket?
If the avulsed tooth is completely intact, then it should be placed back into its socket as soon as possible. It is generally advisable to restore the tooth into its socket within 30 minutes of avulsion; however, tooth re-implantations even after a lapse of 60 minutes have been successful. Simply place the tooth back into its socket by gently pressing it over its crown, while applying a downward force. Afterwards, keep a piece of clean cloth or towel over the tooth, and immediately visit your dentist for further treatment.
In case a tooth is partially knocked out, it is not advisable to attempt putting it back into its socket, rather you should seek expert help. Your dentist will take an x-ray of the remaining tooth inside the socket, and devise further treatment plan, which generally involves extraction; however, if only a small portion of the tooth is avulsed, your dentist may opt to build the chipped off portion of the tooth by placing a suitable filling material over the remaining tooth structure, or providing you with a dental crown.
Can Primary Avulsed Teeth Also Be Put Back Into Their Sockets?
Many dental professionals do not recommend putting a knocked out primary tooth back into the socket, as doing so, especially if the avulsed tooth gets infected, may lead to ankylosis, a condition in which the tooth gets fused directly with the bone. Since an ankylosed tooth is firmly attached to the bone, it does not allow the permanent tooth to erupt and take its place.
How to Transport the Avulsed Tooth?
In case you are unable to place the tooth back to its position, it is best to clean it with tap water or milk, and then place it in your cheeks till you reach the dental office. Never attempt to clean it with bleach or a disinfectant, doing so will result in the tooth becoming non-vital.
What If You Cannot Find Your Avulsed Tooth?
If you are unable to find your knocked out tooth after searching your immediate surroundings, chances are that you might have inhaled or ingested it, which must be confirmed through a radiograph.
What Will your Dentist Do At the Emergency Visit?
Immediately after you report to your dentist, he or she will provide you with first aid, and try to stop any bleeding from the wounds. Afterwards, a radiograph will be taken in order to assess if the avulsed tooth can be placed back. Furthermore, a comprehensive dental examination is carried out to assess the extent of trauma to the maxillofacial region. A tetanus shot may also be required in some cases. Afterwards, frequent follow ups might be required.
How to Prevent Tooth Avulsion
Dental injuries can easily be avoided by adopting safe practices. While playing contact sports, a mouthguard must always be worn. Similarly, parents should look after their children while they are playing outside to avoid any maxillofacial injury. Finally, people who use bicycles or motorcycles for commuting must always wear a helmet, which significantly reduces chances of dental injuries in case of road traffic accidents.